4 items from 2015
If the transformation is a character’s external change then the meltdown is the internal equivalent. Sometimes the most terrifying part of a horror film isn’t when the monster pops out, but when a character loses his or her grip on reality. The psychosis can begin gradually, exacerbated by stress, sickness, or an outside tormentor. Often the character begins a film in complete control of his or her mental faculties. But control is a relative term, and in a horror film, the illusion of control can be just as powerful as actual agency. The options: denial or embracement. The psychological break will come soon enough. The only question is, how broken will the person be once it does?
Alien (1979) – Ash malfunctions
The crew of the cargo ship Nostromo has just about had it. Awakened from a cozy hypersleep to answer the worst wrong number in interstellar history, they then »
It’s what most horror films are known for: the gore that splatters on the screen. But when done right, the flying viscera becomes more than just gallons of red stuff, it becomes a chilling reminder of the fragility of the human body and of the ingenuity of filmmakers in making our most twisted fears and fantasies into a stomach churning reality. Grab your barf bag!
Antichrist (2009)- His and her pain
As far as horror sub-genres go, torture porn is up there with found footage as the most understandably reviled by audiences. With Antichrist, Lars Von Trier attempted to write a film that dealt with his personal demons. Confessing that he had been suffering from depression while writing the screenplay, Trier ended up bringing torture porn to its logical conclusion by taking the title of the sub-genre all too literally and creating a macabre near-masterpiece out of trashy genre origins. »
All week long our writers will debate: Which was the greatest film year of the past half century. Click here for a complete list of our essays. How to decide in the grand scheme of things which film year stands above all others? History gives us no clear methodology to unravel this thorny but extremely important question. Is it the year with the highest average score of movies? So a year that averages out to a B + might be the winner over a field strewn with B’s, despite a few A +’s. Or do a few masterpieces lift up a year so far that whatever else happened beyond those three or four films is of no consequence? Both measures are worthy, and the winner by either of those would certainly be a year not to be sneezed at. But I contend the only true measure of a year’s »
- Richard Rushfield
In what’s quite possibly the strangest casting tidbit of the year so far, The Wrap reports that Oscar-winner Kevin Spacey’s next role will be that of a feline. Going by the name Nine Lives – as if there could be a better title – the film has Barry Sonnenfeld hunkering down in the director’s chair. The Men In Black helmer will work from a script from Daniel Antoniazzi and Ben Shiffrin, which Sonnenfeld has described as a “funny, emotional, commercial comedy.”
EuropaCorp will finance and produce the film, which possesses a positively wacky premise which ought to suit Spacey’s versatile acting chops. He will play “a workaholic businessman who suffers a terrible accident that leaves him trapped in the body of the family cat.” That’s a bit of a understated descriptor for an accident, isn’t it? Terrible suggests a person might have suffered a fracture or a sprain. »
- Gem Seddon
4 items from 2015
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